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Changes to Gulf water resource plan could leave small irrigators without a drop

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More than 700,000 megalitres of additional water will be released for irrigation development, by the Queensland Government, from the Flinders and Gilbert River systems.

However, it remains unclear whether the increased water allocation, on top of an earlier release of 94,000ML by the previous LNP Government in 2013, will be enough to quench the thirst of inland towns such as Julia Creek, Richmond, Hughenden, and Georgetown for economic development.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, said tenders for 239,650ML of water from the Flinders River will open soon as a result of changes to the Gulf Water Resource Plan.

But a decision to delay the tender process for water from the Gilbert River has caused "angst" among producers in the Etheridge Shire, where there is concern the entire extra allocation of 467,000ML could go to a single, major cropping and grazing operation.

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